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AEA Cygnet
Role Early experimental aircraft
Manufacturer Aerial Experiment Association
Designed by Alexander Graham Bell
First flight 1907-12-06
Retired 1910s
Primary user Aerial Experiment Association
Produced 1907-1912
Number built 4

The Cygnet (or Aerodrome #5) was an extremely unorthodox early Canadian aircraft, with a wall-like "wing" made up of 3,393[1] tetrahedral cells. It was a powered version of the Cygnet tetrahedral kite designed by Dr Alexander Graham Bell in 1907 and built by the newly-founded Aerial Experiment Association.

On December 6, Thomas Selfridge piloted the aircraft as it was towed into the air behind a motorboat, eventually reaching a height of 168 ft (51 m). While demonstrably able to fly as a person-carrying kite, it seemed unpromising as a direction for research into powered flight. It was difficult to control, and was in fact destroyed when it hit the water at the end of the flight.

The following year, a smaller copy of the design was built as the Cygnet II, now equipped with wheeled undercarriage and a Curtiss V-8 engine. Attempts to fly it at Baddeck, Nova Scotia between February 22-24 1909 met with failure.

Rebuilt again as the Cygnet III with a more powerful engine, it finally flew on March 1, 1912 at Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia, piloted by John McCurdy.

Contents

Specifications (Cygnet II)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 13 ft 1.5 in (16 m)
  • Wingspan: 52 ft 6 in (16 m)
  • Height: ft in (m)
  • Wing area: ft2 (m2)
  • Empty weight: 650 lb (431 kg)
  • Powerplant:Curtiss 8-cylinder water-cooled in-line V, 50 hp (36 kW)

Performance

Specifications (Cygnet III)

General characteristics

Performance

See also

References

Footnotes

See also

Related lists

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